Caramel is one of my favourite ingredients. I use it for a multitude of things, either keeping it loose & liquid for drizzling over cakes or puddings, or by hardening it after creating shapes, which I then decorate cakes with.
Caramels take on flavour incredibly easily! As it takes about 10minutes for the sugar to caramelise it leaves a lot of time for the flavours to infuse. Kumquats are seasonal right now, and have a lovely sharp citrus flavour- halfway between an orange & a lemon. They are a labour of love to peel, but worth it!
Makes roughly 1 cup of caramel
1 cup caster sugar
3 tbsp water
3cm peeled & grated ginger
Top & tail the kumquats, slice them into rounds and then remove the skin.
Place the sugar & water in a pan, stir so that the sugar looks like wet sand, then add the peeled kumquats & bring to a boil over a high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and leave until golden brown. Do not stir, just occassionaly swirl the pan to ensure even heat distribution.
Get a bowl ready with water & ice, the moment the caramel is the colour you want your caramel to be, plunge the pan into the bowl to stop the cooking process. Remove the kumquats and any pips with a teaspoon, being careful not to burn yourself, and discard. Add the grated ginger & stir to combine.
Either use immediately to drizzle over a pudding, or you can keep it in a container in the fridge, and when you want to use it, place the tupperware into a larger tupperware filled with very very hot water and stir until it loosens again!
If you'd like a caramel sauce, whisk in 3 tbsp of double cream after removing the kumquats, and stir.